Or it could also be called, the beauty of British sport.
Over in the US, all the big 4 sports are franchised, no one else gets a look in. So yes, in theory in baseball they talk of little teams like the Baltimore Orioles making the playoffs, but in all honesty, any MLB team is pretty much a money making juggernaut by most standards, but agreed, compared to the Yankees, or the Dodgers, well maybe they are a minnow, but in a true sense, no.
You could say some sports over here are pretty much franchised, Cricket has its 18 first class counties, Rugby League has its Super League, and they are the giants. But in the old days of cricket, and even now in Rugby, the minnows get a chance to bloody the nose of the big boys. It may not happen often, but it does. Of course for me, talking International Cricket, that wonderful moment when Ireland beat both Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007, and even more so, England in 2011 were truly precious.
And then we come to football, or should I say soccer, for my American friends. I know that the Premier League gets shown on TV over there, I’ve seen it myself, so I know. Thing is, thats probably all that most of them know, and in all honesty, interest is probably limited to a few of those teams. But, we have 3 leagues below them, and in 2 cups every year, the minnows get the chance to bloody a few noses, before letting one of the big boys win the cup. Except…
This year that plan hasnt played out. On Sunday, we have the final of the League Cup, and not one of the giants will be sighted. Yes, there will be a Premier League side there, but its Swansea, not any of the big names. Lets face it, unless you’re a UK footy fan reading this, how many of their players could you name? But thats not the high point of this story, far from it, and what makes this so precious to me, is the other team. 3 Leagues, and a different financial world below them, sit Bradford City in what is called League 2. Actually its the 4th level of football, but technicalities like that dont really matter in the big money world of sport, lets face it. After all, Baseball claims it holds the World Series, but only 2 Countries (barely, with Canada) get the chance to win it.
Yes, incredibly the ‘might’ of Bradford City have knocked out 3 Premier League sides on the way to the final, and on Sunday, they head to Wembley for the final. No, I dont expect them to win it, but then again, no one expected them to beat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa either! I cant say that I follow them faithfully, but when I was growing up, they were my ‘local team’ so I suppose I’ve always had a soft spot for them, even if I have no interest in the game. But yes, I have an old Bradford City shirt (circa last century, end of), and will be wearing it on Sunday at work, for all the good it will probably do them. But, you never know… More importantly for the club, the money this has all brought in will help the club finances dramatically, and that has to be a good thing.
Good luck Bradford, have a great day, win or lose.
The video, well it will probably play Sunday for one team or the other, and it should be Swansea. But you just never know… 😉